TRAVEL JOURNALIST, WRITER & TV HOST. PRESS TRIPS, FAM TRIP FOR JOURNALISTS & BLOGGERS. LOS ANGELES MODELING FOR LIP SERVICE, WRITING & TELEVISION ANNOUNCEMENTS.February 9, 2011 at 23:50 | Posted in Press | 2 Comments
Lots of excitement in La Carmina’s life lately! I have new travel and fashion writing jobs in the work, as well as major TV projects. And there will be a giant, surprising announcement to be made soon. Please follow my main blog in order to find out the latest.
Sebastiano Serafini and I had the chance to model for international Goth Punk alternative clothing brand, Lip Service. Above is an image from our Steampunk Vampire alt model photoshoot, taken in an LA dungeon. The rest of the photos are here.
Seba and I had many meetings and model jobs, and hosted a New Year’s party at Bar Sinister. All the photos from our Hollywood Invasion are in this category. (We were hosted as press by the Orlando Hotel and received a rental car from Argus Rentals. If you are interested in sponsoring us, please email me).
La Carmina will be the fashion guest at Anime Matsuri convention in Houston TX, Mar 18-20. I’m organizing and presenting an h.NAOTO fashion show!
I hope you can join me at the fifth year anniversary of Anime Matsuri, March 18-20th in Houston, Texas.
What: Hangry&Angry and Sixh – Japanese street fashion show
When: Friday, March 18th, 2011
Where: Main Events Arena, The Crowne Plaza Hotel (near Reliant), 8686 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77054
Tickets on sale now at www.animematsuri.com
Click for the full INFO = Hangry & Angry / Sixh runway show.
LA CARMINA is a professional Japan Goth music / fashion / subcultures blogger, travel TV host & arranger, coolhunter, author of 3 books (Penguin USA and Random House), and journalist (Huffington Post, CNN).
Her popular blog has been featured in major publications (The New Yorker, Washington Post, WWD, Village Voice, Time Out New York, LA Times). She contributes articles about Asia travel, pop culture and Goth fashion for CNN and Huffington Post. Her books include Cute Yummy Time (about decorating food to look adorable) and Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo (maid cafes, cat cafes, vampire and ninja restaurants). La Carmina is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Law School.
La Carmina has appeared on The Today Show and co-hosted an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern for Travel Channel, which airs in 75 countries. NHK Japan filmed a documentary about her work; recent TV hosting and arranging credits include Dutch Pepsi, Norway TV, Sony Australia, Canal Plus France, and CNN International in Tokyo. She is in talks to host a TV show.
Introducing her TV hosting / fixing and Japan coolhunting business… La Carmina & The Pirates. http://www.lacarmina.com/pirates/
- We specialize in Japan, Goth, alternative, cosplay, burlesque, LGBT, fashion, pop culture.
- Our services include TV production coordinating, on-camera hosting, Japanese translation and guiding, coolhunting, consulting.
- We’ve worked with CNN, NHK, Travel Channel, Canal Plus, Sony Australia, Dutch Pepsi, Norway TV
- LEARN MORE - http://www.lacarmina.com/pirates/
For more, please visit La Carmina’s website - http://www.lacarmina.com
EMAIL – gothiccarmina at gmail dot-com
HIRE A JAPANESE TV ARRANGER, PRODUCTION COORDINATOR, TRANSLATOR, ON-CAMERA HOST & GUIDE. COOLHUNTING FIRM.October 6, 2010 at 22:41 | Posted in Press, Videos | Leave a comment
Ahoy, me hearties! Ye be ready for a jolly announcement? I’ve officially launched a Japanese alt / trend consulting business with my friends: La Carmina & The Pirates. Translating, connecting, coolhunting, arranging for TV crews — we do it all.
As you know, I’ve been working as a TV host and “fixer” (scheduling TV shoots) in Japan for some while. So my First Mate and I decided to set up a proper website to showcase our experience and services. Naomi Rubin is fluent in Japanese and a pro at scheduling/negotiating, making her the ideal mate to steer this ship. Her many talents included designing the handsome Pirate Basil logo!
Why hire La Carmina & The Pirates?
† We’re active participants in alternative youth subcultures: including cosplay, Goth, burlesque, LGBT, Jpop culture.
So we’ve got the insight. Connections. Professional experience. We’re experts in Japanese trends, language and business formalities.
What can we do for you?
† Japan is notoriously difficult to access and film. As local production coordinators (fixers), we’ll take care of shooting permits, logistics and negotiations.
† La Carmina is a colorful TV host, author of 3 books, and popular blogger. As an on-camera guide,she can conduct interviews and speak knowledgably about trends.
† We’ll reach out to famous designers, artists, bands and fashionistas to be in your project.
+ We will promote your company to our large social network and blog audience worldwide.
† Cool hunting: we provide insight into underground cultures and trends.
No pirate ship is complete without a Crew. Naomi and I work with reliable team of “pirates” that provides expert insight and access.
You can watch a reel of La Carmina’s TV hosting and arranging experiences above and here. These include CNN, NHK, Today Show, Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Dutch Pepsi. Full clips of all videos are on the new Pirates site.
Please take a minute to visit the new La Carmina & The Pirates website – we can’t wait to hear what you think.
Can you think of any companies or individuals who might want to work with us? Please let us know, and keep us in mind for future projects!
I compiled a reel of my travel TV hosting work, which you can see above and on YouTube. It includes CNN, Travel Channel Bizarre Foods, NHK, Today Show. I have more TV / hosting gigs in the works — very excited! If you’d like me to work with me in any capacity, shoot me an email.
I can’t say enough nice words about Andrew Zimmern, host of the Bizarre Foods TV show on Travel Channel / Discovery. You may recall that I was his guide to weird theme restaurants in the Tokyo episode. I was amazed to see that in his Chow and Again blog for Mpls St. Paul Magazine, Andrew Zimmern gives me a shout-out: “My friend Carmina (her friends get to drop the La when addressing her royal hipsterness) pimps us out on her blog and if you don’t subscribe to this woman’s Facebook, blog, and Twitter feeds you are really missing out, kids.”
And then he takes the niceness even further in his Travel Channel blog! Andrew discusses the Tokyo episode and says it’s too bad the show changed its focus from strange subcultures — “exotic alternative lifestyles like La Carmina and her posse” — back to bizarre foods. As a result, the episode had to be re-tooled a lot of our footage was cut.
Andrew Zimmern laments: “I wish you could have seen the original program in all its glory. For example, the theme restaurant act was not originally about the restaurants, it was about the people that I dined with. Cross dressing, fetish party going, club crazy, hipster chic and phenomenally great company, La Carmina and her friends adore Tokyo because it’s the world’s trend setting capital, a city where you can be whatever you want.”
Speaking of eccentric fashion and theme restaurants… I did an interview with Hong Kong food website Asian Palate. I talk about how I became a foodie, and the oddest Tokyo theme restaurants such as “bonsai-shaped cake delivered by ninjas.” You can read the full interview here and after the jump. (And there’s more about my Theme Restaurants book on this page.)
I uploaded a recent TV segment on YouTube: “La Carmina interviews Rituals Gothic designer Kenzo-A about the evolution of Harajuku fashion for CNN. They shop along Takeshita Doori and visit Takuya Angel’s store to try on clothes. This segment appeared on the Tokyo episode of CNNGo TV and aired on CNN International.”
FOR MY DAILY PHOTOS AND WORK UPDATES, please visit my main La Carmina blog, http://www.lacarmina.com/blog
LA CARMINA CO-HOSTING TRAVEL CHANNEL TV SHOW, ANDREW ZIMMERN’S BIZARRE FOODS. NEW SEASON, EPISODES PREMIERE APRIL 26TH.April 21, 2010 at 09:38 | Posted in Press | 5 Comments
Travel Channel has posted a “teaser reel” for the new season of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. And look who’s in it for a second: La Carmina and Mistress Maya! We’re locked in a cell at the horror-jail theme restaurant Alcatraz ER. The wonderfully intrepid Zimmern drinks red slush from the mannequin’s head and exclaims… “That’s good!”
Don’t blink or you’ll miss our appearance at 0:05 in the video above and on YouTube. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern premieres Monday, April 26 at 10 E/P on Travel Channel. I believe the Tokyo episode will the fourth in the series — will keep you updated! For more photos and stories of the Tokyo TV shoot, please check out this blog post and my book, Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo.
I also filmed a cute food demo (above and here) at Penguin Books’ headquarters in NYC. It was great fun to work with the creative team, who built a backdrop using photos from my book. If you’re hungry for adorably-decorated recipes inspired by the Japanese bento decoration trend, please consider my cookbook Cute Yummy Time.
Finally, Death Ray Weekly interviewed me. My personal opinion of Mana-Sama? “Inspiring, enigmatic… DIX love!”
CUTE YUMMY TIME BENTO COOKBOOK IN URBAN OUTFITTERS! JAPANESE POP CULTURE BOOKS CARRIED BY MAJOR CLOTHING RETAILER.March 28, 2010 at 22:07 | Posted in Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | 2 Comments
Amazing news: I heard my Japan bento inspired cookbook, Cute Yummy Time, is on display at Urban Outfitters! My book is carried in the NYC stores and other US locations, and coming to Canadian branches soon. You can also see more and purchase it here.
CNNGO published an exclusive, original cute recipe of mine: Winking Coconut Gelatin. Healthy and refreshing — and adorable. Also from the 4-part series: Penguin Onigiri and Tiger Chicken Tikka Masala. There’s info about my cute cookbook on this page — please consider checking it out, so that I can continue to put out books for you!
BENTO DEMO, HOW-TO TUTORIAL FOR CUTE CHARACTER BENTOS ON TV SHOW. JAPANESE COOKING SHOWS, KAWAII BENTO PROGRAM.March 11, 2010 at 01:00 | Posted in Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time, Videos | Leave a comment
The NHK documentary about cute bentos has aired! Come watch my segments on my YouTube channel (please subscribe) or embedded below. Japanese TV is absolutely bananas, isn’t it?
In Part 1, I show the reporter how to draw and create cute character bentos. How many times can you spot my Scottish Fold cat, Basil Farrow?
Part 2 documents my visit to the Harlem elementary school to teach children (and their parents) how to make cute and healthy sandwiches. Don’t you love their enthusiasm?
Some parts didn’t make the final cut: the reporter and I had a five minute race to make cute food faces, and there was a segment where I modeled my fashion line. But I’ll post behind-the-scenes videos from the shoot later on (shot by Shichi, as were the photos above). You can see more from the NHK Japanese TV show in the last few pages of this blog — and to learn cute bento-making, do consider my book Cute Yummy Time!
Yesterday was an interesting press day. The Guardian (UK newspaper) reported that Cute Yummy Time was named one of the oddest book titles of the year — along with “Bondage for Beginners” and other head-scratchers. I hope my book makes the shortlist…
A bonus for you: behind the scenes footage! Shichi shot some videos of the first day’s shoot, where I showed the reporter my bento creations and demonstrated how to make cute faces out of food. You can see the video above and on my YouTube channel (thanks to everyone who subscribed).
Here are some more photos from the New York Wave TV shoot. Left: I’m cutting a mouth into the koala, who is a multigrain pancake with blueberry eyes and a blackberry nose. Right: My Yumi London dress with Vivienne Westwood leggings (see more outfit photos here.)
HEALTHY EATING FOR CHILDREN, RECIPES FOR PICKY EATERS. KIDS COOKING, MAKING CUTE FACED SANDWICHES AT NEW YORK SCHOOL.February 1, 2010 at 08:32 | Posted in Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | 1 Comment
I began my speech by telling the Harlem schoolchildren that I brought a cute friend with me. I pulled her out of a large bag… and they awwed in recognition: “It’s Hello Kitty!”
I talked about kawaii in Japanese culture and character bentos, and gave pointers on healthy eating. The nine-year-olds were very high-energy and asked me rambling questions. Then it was time for the students to try making their own cute-faced sandwiches. They chose ingredients from the spread I had prepped the previous day. By the end of the shoot, almost everything was gone!
The children intuitively understood how to use cookie cutters, straws and other basic tools to make kawaii characters out of food. I went around the tables to help and encourage them.
Amazingly, the children ate vegetables that they’d never seen before — sprouts, green snap peas, red peppers — and said they tasted great. Their parents took away a fun, new approach to making healthy food accessible for kids. I was pleased.
Hana cheered, “Let’s make kawaii character bentos together!” — and we all raised our fists and yelled “Yayyyyy!” Ah, the wonders of Japanese TV.
You will love the episode of New York Wave, which will air next month on NHK (I’ll upload clips). Much thanks to Thomas, a teacher at the school, for his invaluable help in making the lesson possible. Arigato also to Shichi for the photos and help in dishing out the food.
Received my Akumi Ink x La Carmina t-shirts today and AHH the prints are so eye-catching! Each tee and hoodie is hand-screened; you won’t be disappointed by the quality. (They’re available for order at www.akumuink.com — I’ll post photos of me in them soon.)
TEACHING AT HARLEM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: JAPANESE COOKING & BENTO LUNCH BOX MAKING LESSONS. TUTORIALS, TIPS, HOW TO MAKE KAWAII CHARABEN BENTOS.February 1, 2010 at 08:26 | Posted in Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | Leave a comment
A 20 minute documentary about cute character bentos requires 20 hours of filming… and 200 hours of preparation!
The New York Wave reporter, Hana, got her army green dress from a boutique in Shibuya 109. My silky dress is handmade — it’s part of the cosplay outfit that I later put on. I own three skull scarves; this one is from a random mall vendor.
I was scheduled to teach sixteen rambunctious 9-year-old students how to make kawaii bentos. We set up the tables with Tupperware boxes, cookie cutters, straws, toothpicks, plastic knives and other tools for making sandwiches with cute faces.
On camera, I interviewed Principal Cesar of the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars. Her school is one of five housed in a large complex at East 109th and Lexington. It’s crazy: in the course of a few blocks, the neighborhood goes from fancy Chanel to Harlem housing projects.
Tamami helped me clip on my onigiri hat. This and the furry cardigan complete my handmade Phoenix Wright costume; I’m the bento lady Angel Starr. (You may recall I wore this to my LA book signings; more photos here and here.)
To hold the childrens’ attention, I drew cute animals, wrote on the whiteboard and dangled my stuffed Hello Kitty.
Time to hide in the back… the uniformed schoolchildren are about to enter the library! (All photos by Shichi. You can see a slideshow of the Harlem photos in this video-post.)
Thank you to each of you for reading my blog; you make my work possible, and I appreciate your comments and camaraderie. You can also view the posts by RSS and posts in your inbox. I also post updates several times a day on Twitter and try to add everyone back.
I know you’ve been waiting for photos of the Harlem bento-making class… so here’s a slideshow on YouTube! (I’ll post my favorite photos and tell you more about what happened in the next few days — so check back.)
NHK, Japan’s national public broadcaster, shot a 20 minute TV documentary about character bentos that focused on my work and recipe book, Cute Yummy Time. In this segment, I taught Harlem students how to make healthy, cute bentos. It was a success — the children loved it and ate vegetables that they’d never tried before! The New York Wave episode about cute bento boxes will air this February on NHK; Ill be sure to let you know the exact time and put up segments on YouTube (please subscribe so you wont miss out).
My cat Basil Farrow is featured as a character in my cute cookbook, inspired by Japanese bento decoration. If you want to get in on the charaben action, please consider my recipe book, Cute Yummy Time. (Now in major bookstores and available online.)
JAPANESE FOOD & BENTO BOX ART, COOKING CUTE FOOD FOR NHK NEW YORK WAVE TV SHOW ABOUT KAWAII LUNCH BENTOS.February 1, 2010 at 08:20 | Posted in Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | Leave a comment
Day 3 of the NHK Japan TV shoot. Regi came to NYC to witness the cute cookery. We both happened to be wearing black and our favorite shade of blue. She refers to it as hyper-active or BAM turquoise; I call it 0099CC (since that’s its hex color for CSS and Photoshop).
My long-sleeve top with a face on it: Etnies, an action apparel brand. Random, eh? This TV segment called for “casual clothes” so I had to do my best!
Skull scarf worn as a skirt: A mall vending cart. Casual, cheap and random: check.
Black leggings: Mall vending cart again.
Blue fishnets worn on forearms: Socks from Barcelona that I wear on my arms.
Cute penguin bands worn below knees: These are actually bento box straps from Daiso, the Japanese dollar store. I’d say the overarching theme of this outfit is… random?
Just like in Food Network competitions, I had to prep a large amount of food for the next day. Believe it or not, I was going to Harlem to teach nine-year-olds how to make cute bentos! Wait til you see the photos…
Since we’re in random mode today, I thought I’d go off on some thought tangents. Digital cameras versus film: this and the previous photo are from a vintage camera Shichi bought, and the difference is perceptible. I’m determined to tinker further with toy cameras — I think the results are worth the price of processing.
And I like Regi’s armbands. Practical and stylish. They add a Goth element and work with a variety of short-sleeved tops.
Top-hatted Shichi took all the photos in this post (except the one he’s in, of course). People often ask if my hair is the result of extensions. Nope, it’s all me. For this style, I tied small bundles with black elastics to fluff up the natural volume.
There was a major kitchen clean-up after the cameras left. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a clean freak are you? I’m probably around a 9…
Two random recommendations. Patti Smith’s new book, Just Kids, is impossible to put to down. It’s a memoir of her adventures with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe; 1960s NYC bohemia is a time that has always fascinated me. Pick up a copy and share it with your partners in crime.
Second, if you’re in New York City, go to Kenka. The Japanese word means fighting…
… and it’s the name of a much-loved Japanese izakaya (bar-style restaurant) on St Mark’s Place. There’s always a lineup outside, so try to come at 6pm when the doors open. If you put down your name, don’t go away — the man in the turban skips over absentees!
Don’t order the soggy gyoza, but do get a bottle of sake and yuzu shochu. Gather a group of friends and sample the takoyaki, unagi (eel), grilled mackerel, cod roe onigiri (rice balls), miso tofu, egg and mushroom rice, okonomiyaki, yakitori… so so yummy. At the end, you get a little cup of magic to pour into the cotton candy machine outside. Then you grab a stick and swirl it around and… FAIL. (A Kanae manga for your amusement!)